Monday, September 27, 2010

6am - I hate you

Every morning I open my eyes and the clock reads 5:55. I glare at said clock, and roll over. However, my full bladder is urging me to empty it, and by the time I get back to my room, the damn thing says 6:00. It's 6 am and I long to crawl back under my warm duvet, back to my warm spot in my warm sheets on my warm pillow. Instead, the dog starts whining to relieve himself and I get to start another day.
The worst part, is that my body, and my dog, doesn't care when it's the weekend. Both still decide to wake up at 6 am. Oh I can try to get the washroom visit and canine feedings done quickly, and snuggle back under the covers, but it is always futile, as my mind is now awake and is ready to start the day.
To be truthful, I get the most done in the mornings. It's the best time for housework, and most Saturday mornings see me vacuuming the entire house, cleaning two bathrooms and a kitchen, and having the laundry done and folder by 8:30. But ask me to do those things after lunch, and it wont happen!
The downfall of an internal clock that rings "wake-up" at 6 am is vacations and group functions. Camping, for instance. It's 5:55, and I have to sneak out of my tent without waking the whole campground, and shuffle down the path to the washroom. I get back to my tent, starving, but afraid to start making breakfast for fear that I will wake my neighbors, who surely don't want to be up so early on their camping trip. So I crawl back into my sleeping bag and let my mind wander for two hours, until I absolutely can't stand it any longer and have to get up. And still, there are no sounds coming from any of the other tents, despite many of them containing young children. You can see how this can be an issue for me.
I wonder what will happen to my internal alarm clock when Nathan is born. I struggle to remember what my sleep was like when Hailey was a newborn, but I don't remember much, even though it was only four years ago. I remember sleeping at a lot of random times. I remember the first time she slept all night was the time we came home and didn't take her out of her car seat. Unfortunately, we didn't get the memo that she was going to sleep through so we kept waking up, expecting her to wake up. I remember snuggling with her on the couch a lot, letting her sleep in my arms. Really, I am not sure how prepared I am for a newborn and a four year old; for being up all night with one and all day with the other. I can't imagine how people do it with a toddler and an infant - or two infants! At least Hailey can feed and dress herself, take herself to the washroom and entertain herself, somewhat.
I'd better stop talking about sleep, and sleep deprivation. I am having a hard enough time keeping myself alert at my desk.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Old friends and Ice Cream - two of my favorite things.

Got to sort of hang out with a friend at lunch today. I say sort of because it was a group lunch, and at these functions, you can really only converse with the person you are sitting next to, and the one you are sitting across from. So, since I wasn't sitting with her, I didn't really get a chance to chat with her. But it was a nice lunch all the same, and hopefully we will make another date to catch up.
I like lunch dates. Gives me a chance to sit and chat for an hour and breaks up my day nicely. Don't get me wrong, I like my lunchroom breaks, but lunch dates have a little something special and exciting about them. Especially when it is a time you can get updated on an old friend's life.

Ok, I need to talk about Ice Cream. So, I'm pregnant. Before I get started, I need you to know right away that I eat like crap. I know it's bad for me, bad for the baby, that it'll take me another four years to lose the weight, and on and on. However, no matter what my logical mind tells me I should be doing, I still eat my crap. On with the story.
Some people find they have cravings of strange things when they are pregnant, things they normally wouldn't eat. This is true as well for me, because for some reason I am craving salt. I am a not normally a big chip person, but lately, I am eating a lot of plain lays.
The craving that is not strange, is ice cream. I adore ice cream. When I was a kid, my aunt worked at Farmers and would bring home the monster buckets of cotton candy ice cream for me. You know - the giant ones that they scoop from at the ice cream parlor. She once even brought be the blue goo that they lace cotton candy ice cream with, to use as a topping on all my other lovely flavors of ice cream. So it should come as no surprise to you that I am thinking of ice cream all day long. My current favorite thing is an Oreo Mcflurry. Convenient too, as McDonald's is a hop skip and jump away. I try not to keep ice cream in my freezer at home, as I've been known to skip meals in favor of my favorite desert, but I caved during my last grocery session and bought a tub of vanilla bean. I also have to admit to being a very bad parent. On Monday night, my daughter and I planned an ice cream treat in the evening. Everything was going fine - we each had our dish and our spoon and we were headed to the living room for some Hannah Montana, when I looked into my dish and found it to be rather plain looking. An odd thought for me, as I generally like my food on the plainer side, and I love vanilla ice cream of all types - french vanilla, vanilla bean, cherry vanilla... you name it. So I made a colossal mistake and with a gleam in my eye, asked my daughter if she wanted to try something really cool. Well, when you put it like that, what four year old wouldn't? I reached into the cupboard for the maple syrup, and slathered our ice cream with sugary goodness. I had left the cupboard door open, and she spotted the sprinkles. Well, we already had a delicious, gooey, unhealthy mess going, so why not.
I've learned that this was a door that should not have been opened. Every night after supper, or sometimes even during, Hailey asks for our ice cream-maple syrup-and-sprinkles treat. Craving it myself, it is hard to be the good parent and suggest a healthier snack, but so far this week, I've been able to steer her away from tooth decaying goodness. My husband has way more self control, so I only have to make it until he comes home Monday night, and then he can take over. It's gonna be a long weekend!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sleep baby!

It's 4:10 am and everyone in the house is asleep, except the creature in my belly. For some reason this baby picks two very annoying times to be active - when I'm driving, and when I am trying to sleep. It's very distracting. I'm not one to normally have trouble sleeping, but I opened my eyes with a full bladder about an hour ago, and I haven't been able to escape back into my slumber since. My mind is running way past the speed limit. I'm thinking about work, a little, and about my husband, a lot. He is in a hotel room tonight, having been evacuated from his Oil Rig due to a big storm headed straight for the Grand Banks. I'm grateful that they pulled him off, and he is relatively safe on land. But I am missing him. I wish I could have flown to spend these couple of days with him. My daughter was talking to him on webcam after supper and he looked really hot. Don't mind me, it is 4 am after all, and my ramblings are sure to be less than coherent. It's kind of funny, my husband and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary this winter, and I find myself sometimes a little shocked by how great he is. I catch myself being a little shocked when I see him sometimes, or when he does something extra special. I mean, subconsciously I always know how great he is, but I guess in my day to day life I forget how lucky I am. Yeah, I am really missing him tonight. You know what else I am missing? Summer. There was a definite chill in the air today. All I could think of was the complaining we all did when it was 40 degrees and we sought relief at the beach. The beach - oh how I love the beach. In honor of these wonderful memories, here are some pictures I captures at my brother-in-laws camp this summer.
 This is my niece enjoying the sand.
My nephew has this smile that melts your heart, and helps him out of trouble.

My husband and daughter getting a ride on the tube.
And Hailey going for a ride in the boat.

It was a great summer, filled with day trips to Magic Mountain and Upper Clements Park, camping and cottage trips, and a couple of great birthday parties. I'm looking forward to being off next summer and spending the days with my kids.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Anxiety in Children

My poor daughter is having a hard time at school. She's convinced herself that she doesn't like it there, and begs me all day and night to stay home with me for always. Thursday and Friday were especially bad. The teachers said she cried the entire day and wasn't able to eat her lunch. She was still upset all Friday evening and Saturday, and some of Sunday. Sunday night she started crying as soon as we started our bedtime routine, and as soon as she woke up this morning, she was in tears. I stayed with her at school for an extra twenty minutes, and helped her calm down and play with some of the toys. My hope is that if I can spend some time with her calmly each morning at the school, she will become more comfortable in her surroundings.

I have to admit that this is not the first sign of this. Last year at school she would cry when I dropped her off, but she was fine after five minutes or so. The difference was that she only went twice a week, and only for three hours. The rest of her time was spent with me. During the summer she played soccer, and she would cry for the first twenty minutes of the class, wanting me to hold her hand and play with her. And she was going to a good friends house during the summer, while I worked, and she had a hard time at drop off time with that.

Anxiety and depression run in my family. My husband always gets upset with me for watching for it in Hailey. I knew though that it would manifest in some way, although I always hoped she would be exempt from it. I've been looking up tricks online for helping her cope, but each site has information that contradicts the site before. It is so confusing. I just want to know what to say and do to make this easier on her. I know what it's like to have the anxiety wash over you, and even as an adult, I have a hard time making sense of the feelings of irrational fear. I can't imagine being 4 years old, wanting your mommy, being sick with fear in your surroundings, and having to stay that way for 8 or 9 hours of the day. It breaks my heart to sit here and know that she is sad and scared.

I've made an appointment with the doctor for next week. I hope that I can get some literature or a pediatrician appointment. I just need some direction in how to help her.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The guilt of a working parent

I'm not in the greatest of moods after dropping my daughter at preschool this morning. She was clingy and sad this morning. I wasn't surprised; my husband left to return to work Sunday night, and she was pretty shaken by his leaving. It seems to get worse each time. But it was terrible to leave her there with that look on her face.

I imagine myself sometimes with the Little House on the Prairie background. I am living in a big old farmhouse with all my family. The men leave to work and the women stay home and teach the kiddos and care for the home. Don't get me wrong, I don't really want that life. But I can feel the need to raise my daughter myself, to be the constant in her life. The feeling that I am abandoning her wars with the need to have a career and support my family.

I was on the website for Hailey's preschool the other day looking at the cost for daycare for babies and toddlers. People pay $35 a day! That's $700 a month! If you had more than one child in daycare - you'd be spending most of your paycheck on their care, and the rest on gas to get them back and forth! There is zero incentive to work if you have two or more young children. We were lucky with Hailey, I was off alot while she was young, and we had the support of family when I did work. This year her preschool program is subsidized by the CSAP (french provincial school board) so we pay about $21 a day and it sets her up for grade primary. I guess I'm pretty lucky that my kids will not be both in daycare at the same time, as Hailey starts school next September.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to school

It's back to school week across the region, and parents and kids alike are experiencing bouts of excitement, anxiety, dread, and relief.

Yesterday was Hailey's first day of full time preschool. She goes to a french preschool, so there are elements of unease for me because she can't always understand everything that is going on, but it's not a totally new situation for her, because she was there last year for two half days a week. She also already knew her teacher because she had subbed for a week last year, and four kids from her class are with her this year, including a close friend. However, 8-5:30 is a much longer day than before. Yesterday morning was a breeze; she was so excited about her first day that she slipped on her indoor shoes and took off for the toys and friends. This morning her little friend wasn't at school, so she was reluctant for us to leave. When we picked her up yesterday, she came out with her face all painted like a butterfly. Apparently at around 4 when some of the parents started showing up, she got upset that her parents weren't there. One of the teachers had their little facepainting kit with them and made her feel better.

I've been talking to friends who are very anxious for their grade primary kids going to school for the first time. It's hard to leave them when you aren't sure how they will make out. It was nice taking Hailey to a place that she was familiar with, and I think it worked out well introducing her to school gradually. She will go to primary at the same school next year, and it's likely that she will already know most of the kids and her teacher too. It helps to ease some of that when we are asking her to be in an environment where the language is different. Even though we read in french and she knows a lot of french words, she is still far from fluent and struggles throughout the day. The teachers are great though, and they make sure she understands what is going on (the program is designed for kids who do not speak french at home but who are going into an exclusively french environment).

I was very nervous about today because I was worried about the traffic. I have a major commute now in the morning, as I don't live close to my daughter's school, or to my work. I have to pass through very busy sections to get to both places, and the city is still littered with construction. Add to that back to school traffic and I was sure I was going to be late for work this morning. But it was really not too bad. With the current heat wave, I expect many people took this week off. And I know some parents who took the day off to see their children to school. People may be not returning to the city until after the long weekend. So really, the true traffic should show it's face on Tuesday. I'm going to have to get up at 5:30 just to deal with the two dogs, the fish (I am dog and fish sitting for my parents, who are away), and getting myself and my daughter ready and out the door for 7:20. No easy task! And it should get more and more interesting the bigger my belly grows. But, look on the bright side - there is less than 4 months until December 24 - my official last day of work.